mandag 12. februar 2024

From China's Past: Ma Huan gave us a detailed record of Zheng He's voyages to the West

In the second year of Zong Jingtai in the Ming Dynasty (1451), an old man who was over the age of ancient times completed the final proofreading and signed and concluded his paper, summarizing his many years of maritime experience. The old man's name was Ma Huan, who was a member of the Hui ethnic group in the early Ming Dynasty. This work, dictated by him and copied by his colleagues, is the most important historical material for later generations to understand the history of Zheng He's voyages to the West-"Yingya Shenglan".

Ma Huan has personally experienced three voyages with the fleet, namely the fourth (starting in the 11th year of Yongle, 1413, to July of the 13th year of Yongle, 1415), and the sixth (starting in the 19th year of Yongle, 1421). Years, to August of the 20th year of Yongle, 1422) and the seventh (from December of the sixth year of Xuande, 1432, to July of the eighth year of Xuande, 1433). During the seventh voyage to the West, Ma Huan and several other Muslim officials were sent to Mecca by the order of the eunuch Hong Bao to take the pilgrimage to Mecca.